POLACCA, Ariz. — An active shooter drill will take place from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 2 at Hopi Jr./Sr. High School. The drill will include all emergency services, including law enforcement and emergency medical, fire and transportation.
Velleda Sidney, public health emergency preparedness coordinator, said a possible road closure could take place for two hours of Highway 264 to Hopi Jr./Sr. High School starting at the Hopi Police Department and all unmaintained back roads that lead to Hopi Jr./Sr. High School.
“Please be aware that our local first responders will be exercising a functional active shooter exercise during the morning rush hour,” Sidney said. “Drive with caution and remember this is, only an exercise. Please let your families know about this exercise so that they are not caught off guard. Under the HSEEP guidance if there is a real-incident, the exercise will be called off by the lead incident commander, which will be a law enforcement officer.”
The active shooting drill is an exercise that tests Hopi Jr./Sr. High School emergency plans, first responder, police, EMS, IHS, HERT Hopi Emergency Response Team) plans, incident response organization and overall safety.
The Hopi Jr./Sr. High School Active Shooter Committee is using the Homeland Security Evaluation Exercise Program (HSEEP), to design this functional exercise. More information is available at www.FEMA.gov at the HSEEP link.
The exercise tests and measures all local first responders’ response efforts and helps them come up with a way to respond in the most effective way. The emergency exercise will help enhance plans to address an active shooter and strengthen local first responder’s response capabilities in our schools, businesses, homes and villages/communities. When the exercise is completed the HSEEP will utilize the After Action Report (AAR) and that information will be shared with all first responder departments heads and Hopi Tribal leadership for improvements.
Sidney said the committee hopes the exercise will help to get Hopi school’s staff, students, parents, Hopi leadership and the public to understand what their roles should be if there is ever an incident involving an active shooter.
After the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, the President and Congress agreed to implement the National Interagency Management System (NIMS). Federal, state, and local governments all are mandated to follow NIMS and use the Incident Command System (ICS)–a nationally recognized process of leadership and management of incident response for all emergency response situations.
What is an Active Shooter?
According to the Law Enforcement Active Shooter Emergency Response Guide, FEMA’s National Training and Education Division, NTE, an active shooter is defined as one or more subjects who participate in a random or systematic shooting spree, demonstrating their intent to continuously harm others.
The overriding objective of an active killer appears to be that of mass murder, rather than other criminal conduct, such as robbery or hostage taking. It also includes anyone who uses any other deadly weapon to systematically or randomly inflect death or serious bodily harm on others over a continuous or extended period of time.
FEMA’s National Training and Education Division, NTED said all shootings had one statement in common: “We never thought this could ever happen in our local community/town” and “we are a very quiet neighborhood we are very shocked this happened has happened here.”
How should community members prepare for an active shooter?
Know your schools, business, and community’s emergency plans. Ask your school’s administration or department leader for update emergency plans and how you can help become aware of what your role maybe during an incident at your business or child/children’s school. The public can also go over what is expected from the school for one’s child to help them to understand what they should do.
Incidents involving children at school is another component to get resources needed to help children and their families.
Sidney said that social-demographics and a child’s well-being is a common denominator of those students who bring a gun to school.
“We are a Hopi community and we do need to support one another as local programs/ departments or public and help one another to stay proactive and keep our children safe,” she said.
More information about this excise is available by contacting Velleda Sidney, PHEP coordinator at (928) 734-3664.